[development] Announcing project Forena Reports

David Metzler metzlerd at metzlerd.com
Wed Mar 17 06:27:04 UTC 2010

Hey all,

Just announcing a new project.   I've talked before about the power  
of PHP and SimpleXML and PHP 5.2.x  Well I've had some experience  
trying to build some web reporting software, and I'm hoping I have an  
idea for yet another killer Drupal app.  So I'm just starting to  
launch project Forena (based on the Swedish verb meaning "to  
connect")  which I am hoping will be a direct competitor to other  
"enterprise reporting engines"  that typically charge $100k US or  
more per site.

The college/university that I work at has been generous enough to  
allow me to launch this into the world of open source software, and  
I'm excited about the opportunity.  So here's to announcing the  
launch of Forena Reports will (I hope) revolutionize web based  
enterprise reporting. (Ok, I admit that it's an ambitious goal)

I'm actively seeking co-maintainers who have a passion for enterprise  
reporting and are tired of the likes of Crystal Reports (et. al)  
dominating the market

I've got what I think is a strong proof of concept module up at  
http://drupal.org/project/forena  and I hope that you'll join me in  
kicking a tire or two.  The report engine is extremely pluggable, and  
although it currently only has support for PDO supported databases,  
drupal and Oracle, I'm hoping will have support for many other  
databases in the future.

Some things that might spark interest among the developers:

* I'm using a plugin registration technique inspired by drupal's  
hook_technique that leverages OO programming..  I think it's what  
drupal core developers might have thought of if PHP 4 hadn't have  
messed with their OO paradigm, but it is an intersting approach to  
dealing with the ubiquitious drupal funtion namespace problem.

* PDO connections to ANY PDO supported database.

* Native support for Oracle and (eventually) Postgres XML.
* An intersting theme engine that allows users to specify report  
templates with frx:foreach tags.  I think this will be really easy  
for theme developers to wrap their heads around.

Anyway, it's a bit early for this announcement, but if you've been  
thinking about purchasing a large scale enterprise reporting  
solution, I'd hope you'd consider contributing to Forena Reports  
instead.  If you have any more questions about this module, please  
feel free to ask.   I'd really like to be part of a larger group in  

Thanks for the time,


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